January 26, 2008

IGNORANCE IS BLISS

This article on the truth behind the Jena Six is just so depressing. But the part that stands out to me is this:

Bean's narrative, though, contained an interesting factual error: It stated that there had been three nooses, not two, hung from the tree at Jena High School. The error was not material, and the truth did not exonerate the perpetrators (one noose would have been too many), but to an observer examining the numerous stories about the Jena Six that flooded newspapers, radio, television, and blogs, the three nooses, which appear again and again, are a kind of journalistic dye-marker signaling a tendency on the part of the reporters to rely on Bean's narrative, his handpicked sources, and the reporting of Witt--whose frequent stories appeared nationwide in Tribune Co.-owned papers like the Los Angeles Times--instead of doing their own legwork by consulting court records and other documents, or even the Alexandria Town Talk, which accurately reported the number of nooses from the very beginning.

Some guy makes a bunch of "facts" up, and the news sources copy and disseminate it. Good heavens, are they even trustworthy at all?

And remember this the next time you read a report out of Iraq. If journalists don't even bother to interview someone in Jena to get the real story, how much of what we hear from Iraq is verified?

Posted by: Sarah at 10:12 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 Have you heard of the HBO show 'The Wire'? If you haven't you might want to check into watching it from the beginning because it totally builds on itself and I don't know how easy or entertaining it would be to just start now.... The series is set in Baltimore. The first season was focused on the streets and drug dealers. The second season was how the drugs get in through the Baltimore port and all about another heirarchy of drug business. The third season was mainly police work and trying to control the drugs on the streets. The fourth season was the school systems, and finally the fifth that just started, is about the media. It's the most incredible, intelligent show that I have ever seen, and accurate. If you wonder how the media draws their conclusions? They just make the shit up!

Posted by: Only $19.95 at January 26, 2008 10:48 AM (f2kPQ)

2 Here's a counter recommendation: Have you read the Michael Crichton book Airframe? I never looked at the media the same after that book...

Posted by: Sarah at January 26, 2008 10:51 AM (TWet1)

3 No, I haven't -- but I'll put it on my library list. I love Michael Crichton. My perspective has also changed since I switched jobs (temporarily it seems).... I'm working in Public Affairs now. Interesting to see how things get spun 'accidently' when trying to fit an article in a layout or make a deadline.

Posted by: Only $19.95 at January 26, 2008 12:46 PM (f2kPQ)

4 Kind of similar to what the Bushies did with Curveball in the run-up to war. Except of course that WAS material.

Posted by: Fred O at January 31, 2008 08:18 AM (X8iAz)

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